They are like trees planted by streams of water,
which yield their fruit in its season,
and their leaves do not wither.
In all that they do, they prosper.
The Psalmist proclaims, “Happy are they…who…delight in the law of the Lord…They are like trees planted by streams of water which yield their fruit in its season.”
This image of a tree illustrates beautifully the importance of a life-long commitment to the study and appreciation of scripture. Those who delight in God’s Word are like strong, graceful, well-watered trees with fresh green leaves. In contrast, the wicked are like chaff, dried up, insubstantial, easily tossed and blown by the wind.
On Rally Day, September 10th, we launch our Christian Education programming for the year. Much of our focus, and rightly so, is on the care and nurture of our young people in the faith. Sharon Carter watches over the Cradle Roll (birth to age three), while Suzanne Baggett, our Sunday School Superintendent, has done a marvelous job of energizing our children’s education programs. Through drama, art and music we engage children from age three and up in the living waters of God’s Word.
Those of us who are adults, however, must not neglect our own faith. Anyone who has traveled on a commercial airline is no doubt familiar with the safety instructions that precede each flight. We are told that if we need to use oxygen masks during the flight we must first secure our own oxygen mask before securing that of our children. The reason is obvious. If the adults on board the plane are incapacitated by lack of oxygen they will be unable to assist their children.
This is also true with respect to our relationship to God’s Word. We must nurture our children’s study of scripture and we must nurture our own life of study and reflection on God’s Word and our faith tradition. Not only does this prepare us to accompany our young people as they grow in faith and begin to ask more complex and sophisticated questions, but it also strengthens our own faith life. We will become trees yielding the fruits of the Spirit described in Galatians 5, “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”
I urge you to set aside a portion of your week for your own immersion in the living water of God’s Word. We offer a number of opportunities here at Holy Cross. Join one of our adult forums on Sunday mornings or the Tuesday evening or the Thursday morning Bible study groups.
As long as I am at Holy Cross, I look forward to accompanying you as you nurture your faith life with study and reflection. Please refresh your spirit with the living waters of God’s Word!